The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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    The Restaurants at My End of the Universe Tampa Bay restaurants

Archive for the ‘Palm Harbor’ Category

It’s been a while since we’ve been to the East Lake Cafe and unfortunately, this visit didn’t change our minds as to why.  I used to really like this restaurant, but the last few times I’ve been here, both the food and service left much to be desired.  Loren decided to try their International Salad.

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First off, he misread the menu and thought it had bacon, but that was the least of the issues with this dish.  The avocado was under ripe and rock hard and had to ask the waitress to bring him some he could actually eat.  They also don’t dress this salad with anything other than a light sprinkle of oil.  He asked for some balsamic dressing just to get over the dryness of the salad.  Though the individual components of the salad were good on their own; together, they just weren’t cohesive.  It had hummus, ricotta cheese, tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, cucumbers, basil and pita bread.

I ordered the onion & mushroom burger with American cheese instead of the Swiss it came with.

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It was under done for a medium burger and lacked any seasoning whatsoever.  Just a really dull burger.  The waffle fries were good though.  Total bill with a drink was $25 and I doubt we’ll even bother to try again.

Eastlake Cafe
3430 Eastlake Rd
Palm Harbor, FL
727-772-0707

East Lake Cafe on Urbanspoon

 

Food1/5
Service2/5
Atmosphere2/5
Value1/5
1.5/5

After going to a movie this morning, we were looking for a quick lunch and found it at Sweet Caroline’s.  I thought I remembered a cafe there the last time we grabbed a dessert and sure enough, they had a selection of soups and sandwiches available.  Loren went for the turkey BLT croissant with a cup of creamy roasted asparagus soup.

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The soup was a little thin, but he said it had a really good flavor.  He also enjoyed the crunchy bacon and the sandwich as a whole.  The cole slaw had a pineapple taste to it.  I ordered the chicken salad croissant with a side of the sweet corn chowder.

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This is the way I like my chicken salad.  It had grapes and other sweet things in it and the crossiant was fresh and tasty.  The chowder was also on the thin side and needed some salt, but otherwise pretty tasty.  It just wouldn’t be right to leave this place without grabbing a dessert.

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Loren went for the chocolate ginger cookie, but don’t be fooled, he had quite a few bites of my French eclair.  From the moment I walked in, I knew I was getting it for dessert.  A layer of pudding, a layer of whipped cream all tucked into a pastry shell and topped with dark chocolate.  Yum!  Total bill with two drinks was $29.

Sweet Caroline’s
3347 Tampa Road
Palm Harbor, FL
727-781-1888

Sweet Caroline's on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.4/5

Always on the look out for a Mexican restaurant, we stopped by El Texano in Palm Harbor tonight.  It’s in the space that used to be a Thai restaurant.   At first glance, we didn’t think they were open.  The parking lot & the restaurant were empty, but we ventured inside anyway.  They started us off with some chips and salsa.

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Loren said the salsa was tasty and I couldn’t keep out of the chips.  They were warm and fresh with just the right amount of salt on them.  Very addictive.  For his entree, Loren chose the carnitas.

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One bite and I was hooked.  They were very tender and very tasty.  I’m not usually a fan of carnitas, but I’d absolutely order these again.  I went for the chicken fajitas which also came with a side of rice and beans.

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The fajitas were tender and had a good flavor to them.  The rice and beans were pretty generic and I was surprised that they wasn’t a dish of lettuce, cheese, tomatoes/pico de gallo included.  I did ask for a side of sour cream though.  Overall, the food was very good.   Our waitress was very nice, but maybe a bit too timid.  Overall a tasty dinner for $$25.

El Texano
35903 US Hwy 19 N
Palm Harbor, FL
(727) 934-7289

El Texano on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.4/5

Loren was in the mood for a steak and when I checked Longhorn’s website, I discovered we could get a free appetizer by signing up for their hospitality club.  They were pretty crowded tonight and we had about a 20 minute wait for a table.  For our appetizer, we decided on the cheddar stuffed mushrooms.

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It was five mushrooms drenched in gooey cheese.  What more could you ask for?  The mushrooms were tender and the cheese had a good flavor to it.  Once we finished those, bread, and salad, it was time for our entrees.  Loren got the 6 oz bourbon black pepper sirloin.

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The steak was cooked a perfect medium and was very tender.  I didn’t like the glaze on it, but he thought it was very good.  I went for the Napa chicken.

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It had mushrooms, artichokes, and tomatoes in a white wine sauce.  The chicken was very tender, but I still would have preferred to have been given a steak knife instead of having to cut it with a butter knife.  Although, we should have passed on dessert, I just had to try the blueberry lemon butter cake.

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Not very appealing to look at, but it had a deep, rich lemon flavor to it.  I was expecting a few more fresh blueberries on top and all of the blueberries in the cake had settled on one end.  It tasted more like a blueberry muffin than a cake, but we didn’t manage to finish it because the flavors were spot on.  Out of all of the chain restaurants we occasionally go to, we’ve really had the best food experiences at Longhorn.  Total bill with a drink was $39.

Longhorn Steakhouse
35645 US Highway 19
Palm Harbor, FL
(727) 781-9300

Longhorn Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.4/5

We headed over to Palm Harbor for lunch at the Thirsty Marlin today.  An ahi tuna salad for Loren and a grouper sandwich for me.

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Loren liked his salad, but I don’t think I could have eaten mine as a sandwich if I tried.  They were very awkward pieces of fish.  The grouper was ok, but very under seasoned.  Total bill with a drink was $33.

Thirsty Marlin
1023 Florida Ave
Palm Harbor, FL
727-784-3469

Thirsty Marlin Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon

 

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value2/5
2.9/5